Thursday, 6 November 2008

Alan Sloman's Big Walk

A good title for today's post. As I explained on this post it was clear what this blog was all about and how subsequently it has evolved into the beast it is today.

My first proper 'Big Walk' was at the tender age of ten, when I clambered up Cadair Idris. Upon reaching the top I was encouraged to run the screes down to the lake seemingly thousands of dizzying feet below. I was just about the last boy to take the plunge as peering over the edge it looked impossibly steep and my vertigo / fear of heights kicked in massively. It was a defining moment for me - I couldn't possibly lose face even though I was the youngest boy on the walk by a good few years. Within minutes I was down at the bottom by the lake and raring to have another go.

That was a massive life lesson and ever since then whenever I have been faced with dizzying uncertainty I think back to that little boy peering down over the edge of the abyss, terrified and the subsequent euphoria of having beaten back the terrors and not letting myself down.

It is amazing what can be achieved when every decision that is available to you all look equally bleak and hopeless. If you try hard enough, grit your teeth and get on with it, it is amazing how things can turn out.

So in a funny sort of way, the title of my blog: "Alan Sloman's Big Walk" is now perhaps more appropriate than ever. My personal life has suffered such a massive shock that only a week or so ago all the choices available were just so ghastly that I was once again that little boy, very alone and very frightened about what was happening to me.

I am now on a Very Big Walk Indeed (and the capitals are important here!) and have started to take the first tentative steps down that massive scree run.

Wish me luck, eh?


  1. Keep on walking, Alan, but wear a sound pair of boots; remember...Semper in excrementum ergo, solum profundum est qui veriat'
    Good luck!

  2. I can understand your feelings Alan but if you could overcome your fear of the Foxes Path at that age, you have nothing to fear for the future!

  3. While we can empathise, we can't fully understand your pain. Be assured though, there are people who care for you even though we may not have met you. Hopefully you can take some solace from that. You are not alone.


  4. Back in '97 I took a sort of 'discover yourself' course and I had to take something with me that was dear to me. I showed the others my Scarpa's and they asked why I had chosen my boots. They symbolized my discovery of Scotland and it's mountains and my discovery of going abroad on my own. A major step for me. It gave me confidence and a few months later I met my wife. I've been coming to Scotland since on a regular basis and even did The Challenge. An achievement that would never have been possible if it weren't for that first pair of boots.


  5. Thinking of you, Alan. And if you wake up one morning and want a change of scenery 4500 miles SW of you, just say when.


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